Words That Smell like Father-in-Law: A Linguistic Description of the Datooga Avoidance Register

Words That Smell like Father-in-Law: A Linguistic Description of the Datooga Avoidance Register <p>Abstract:</p><p>This article describes an avoidance register of Datooga, a Nilotic language of Tanzania. Datooga women show respect to their senior in-laws by avoiding not only these in-laws’ names but also lexically related and similar-sounding words. Near-homophone avoidance is partly determined by phonological criteria but also by idiosyncratic metalinguistic judgments and social convention. To avoid taboo words, women have developed a conventionalized avoidance vocabulary, assembled by means of various linguistic strategies, including consonant replacement, borrowing, and derivation. Avoidance words make use of a wide range of linguistic resources and illustrate well the heterogeneous results of taboo-motivated language change.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Anthropological Linguistics University of Nebraska Press

Words That Smell like Father-in-Law: A Linguistic Description of the Datooga Avoidance Register

Anthropological Linguistics, Volume 57 (2) – May 5, 2016

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
1944-6527

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>This article describes an avoidance register of Datooga, a Nilotic language of Tanzania. Datooga women show respect to their senior in-laws by avoiding not only these in-laws’ names but also lexically related and similar-sounding words. Near-homophone avoidance is partly determined by phonological criteria but also by idiosyncratic metalinguistic judgments and social convention. To avoid taboo words, women have developed a conventionalized avoidance vocabulary, assembled by means of various linguistic strategies, including consonant replacement, borrowing, and derivation. Avoidance words make use of a wide range of linguistic resources and illustrate well the heterogeneous results of taboo-motivated language change.</p>

Journal

Anthropological LinguisticsUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: May 5, 2016

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